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The Clarion Herald

    It is unfortunate that Biblical terms are so often used in a way that completely contradicts their contextual usage. Thus, some are ever calling brethren back to "the SIMPLICITY of the Gospel" or "the simplicity that is in Christ". By this they appear to mean that we should FORGET what they regard as "non-essentials" and get back to the "basic, fundamental, cardinal doctrines" of their particular "creed". But, is that what is REALLY MEANT by the New Testament usage of this terminology?
    The word "simplicity" is used to translate the Greek word "haplotes". As a noun it appears only 8 times in the New Testament. As regards Christian service, it is translated "simplicity" and associated with "godly sincerity", (2 Cor. 1:12). With regard to the stewardship of Christian giving, it is rendered: "liberal, liberality and bountifulness", (2 Cor. 8:2; 9:11, 13). And with regard to devotion, it is used of the "singleness" of heart -- as contrasted with duplicity or "half-heartedness", (Eph. 6:5; Col. 3:22) As an adverb it describes a "single eye" -- as opposed to double vision, (Matt. 6:22; Lk. 11:34).

Thus, we may conclude from its New Testament usage, that it involves a WHOLE-HEARTED DEVOTION to the person, will, word, commandment and service of Jesus Christ.
    If THIS is what my brethren mean by our "getting back to the simplicity of the Gospel", then I respond with a hearty "AMEN!" However, if they mean something that will tend to minimize the importance of obeying ANY command of my Lord, then I must OBJECT! Whoever undertakes to categorize the commandments of the living God into "essential" and "non-essential", or into "major" and "minor", is guilty of presumptuous sin! And he will reap the reward of his mischievous god-playing labor.
    Jesus said: "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me .... If a man love me, he WILL keep my words ... He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings", (John 14:21-24). The "whole-heartedness" (simplicity) meant to characterize those "in Christ Jesus" is expressed quite clearly by Paul in Galatians 5:24: "They that are Christ's HAVE CRUCIFIED THE FLESH with the affections and lusts".
    Let us NEVER be guilty of over- simplifying New Testament "simpli-

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The Clarion Herald The Clarion Herald

city": (1) Offering a "cheap grace" that requires no denial of self, ungodliness or worldly lusts, (2) Preaching a "pseudo-security" that leads others to presumption; and (3) Discouraging spiritual progress by implying that one is GUARANTEED "all spiritual blessings" on the basis of a "simple faith" that he ONCE exercised toward Jesus Christ! Such a path can only lead to spiritual disaster.
    May we, rather, devote ourselves whole-heartedly and lovingly to the bond service of Jesus -- believing His Word and joyfully obeying His commandments, which are never grievous. Such a walk will REALLY manifest the simplicity that is IN CHRIST".
-- Eugene L. Garner
    Jesus Christ faithfully SECURES ALL that, by faith, is: committed, deposited, abandoned, entrusted and LEFT IN HIS CARE and control.
    Who is REALLY running YOUR LIFE?


    When Jesus walked on earth, as a man among men, His own people (Israel) generally responded to Him in one of two extreme ways. First, there was the SUPERFICIAL ACCLAMATION of the masses -- impressed by His mighty works. At times they made a tremendous "stir", but evidenced little faith or genuine commitment to truth and righteousness. When difficulties arose their admiration vanished and they turned back into the more familiar and comfortable paths of their father's tradition.
    The other extreme was that of OUTRIGHT REJECTION by the accredited religious leaders of His time --whose deeply entrenched religious views Jesus strenuously opposed. They lost little time in determining to DESTROY Him! These were the forerunners of an ever increasing number, among men professing Godliness, who are deadly opposed to the introduction of any element that they do not understand or approve (Biblical or not), but which might tend to disturb the stale, lifeless tranquility of the "status quo".
    Thus do we see the two extremes that were manifested toward our Lord Himself: (1) Admiration, on the part of the crowds who did not really understand Him, and, (2) Hatred, on the part of those religious leaders who did not agree with Him.
    Did our Lord play on the emotions of the masses to "bring them IN" -- whether they really committed themselves to Him or not? Was He determined to "succeed at any cost"? NO! Did He compromise with

His enemies among the religious hierarchy in order to avoid a clash? Absolutely NOT! What, then, did He do?
    Jesus called to Himself the nucleus of the multitudes -- those FEW whose hearts were hungering after truth and righteousness (and there are always a few). He called these "disciples", and later chose 12 of them to be "apostles". Around these He undertook the building of a "new Israel". Patiently He dealt with them, loved them, instructed them -- each according to his individual need -- until they finally recognized Him as the Messiah of Israel. This was the type of response Jesus had sought all along.
    At last there was evidenced in the followers of Jesus a PROGRESSIVE INSIGHT OF FAITH. With this type of response He could proceed with the building of His "church", which is later referred to as His "body" -- the "house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth". And He could now be sure that "the gates of hell" would not prevail against it.
    What kind of response are YOU making to the Living Christ? Are you a superficial enthusiast who can get very "emotional" about Him so long as things are running well, but who loses interest when trials or afflictions arise? Are you one who despises Him because He disturbs your philosophy of religion and life? Or, are you one of the precious few who, through prayer, study, meditation and daily fellowship with God, are increasingly delighted by a progressive clarifi-

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cation of spiritual truths that the multitudes have passed by as "nonessential" to the over-simplified system of teachings which they have assumed to be complete.
    Let us never lose sight of Christ as the center of our affections and hope. But, let us not assume that we KNOW HIM without an ever-developing insight into the inexhaustible Word of truth wherein He is revealed.
-- Eugene L. Gamer


    With this issue the CLARION HERALD completes its 5th year of publication. It has been a trying, tiring, time-consuming and increasingly expensive undertaking. But it has NOT BEEN IN VAIN. A surprising number of brethren (& sisters) have written to express their appreciation and to acknowledge some blessing received through its message. Some have assisted in a financial way -- lightening the load of Landmark Church.
    For EVERY contribution -- be it constructive criticism, prayer, a word of encouragement, the preparation of an article, or financial assistance -- the editor wishes to express his SINCERE GRATITUDE!
    Lord willing, with the next issue, the CLARION HERALD will begin its 6th year of "sounding a call to salvation, sobriety, watchfulness, fidelity and brotherliness in view of our Lord's return". Will you pray with us that this will be a CONSTRUCTIVE ministry that will honor the name of Christ? E.G.

    An Indian woman, of low caste, was once asked how much the temple would cost that her people were in the process of building. Turning with indignant surprise upon the Christian missionary, who made the inquiry, she replied: "Why, we do not know! It is for our god. We don't count the cost!"
    The implication of her statement was that WHATEVER THE COST the temple must be built. Though misdirected, she understood the meaning of loyalty and sacrifice far better than many who profess to be followers and worshippers of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    Are YOU loyal? To WHOM??

Once in Persia reigned a king
    Who upon his signet ring
Graved a maxim, strange and wise;
    Which when held before his eyes
Gave him counsel at a glance,
    Fit for every change or chance--
Solemn words, and these are they:
    "Even this will pass away".

Trains and camels through the sands
    Brought him gems from other
Fleets of galleys o'er the seas
    Brought him pearls to rival
But he counted little gain
    Treasures of the mine or main:
"What is wealth?" the king would
    "Even this will pass away".

'Mid the pleasures of the court,
    At the zenith of their sport,
When the palms of all his guests
    Burned with clapping at his
Seated 'midst the figs and wine,
    Said the king: "Ah, friends of
Pleasure comes, but does not stay--
    Even this will pass away".

Towering in a public square
    Forty cubits in the air
Stood his statue carved in stone,
    And the king, disguised, unknown,
Gazed upon his sculptured name,
    And he pondered, "What is fame?
Fame is like a fleeting day -
    Even this will pass away".
-- Author Unknown
    To gain the world at the loss of one's soul is FOREVER unprofitable!